A large minority of AstraZeneca
shareholders opposed Chief Executive Pascal Soriot’s pay package at their annual meeting on Tuesday, following investor advisers and fund managers who had criticized the company’s compensation plans.
Investors holding only 60.19% of the shares voted for the measure, with 39.8% opposing it.
Soriot will see his annual salary rise by 3% to £1.3 million, and his share award increased to a maximum of 6.5 times that amount percent of that amount (from 5.5), with his annual bonus rising to a potential 250% of his salary (from 200%).
The package could be worth £17.8 million ($25.2 million) if the share price rises by 50% over time.
The drug company acknowledged that a “meaningful proportion of shareholders” had opposed the change to directors’ pay, and pledged to engage with them.
The company’s executive remuneration “is well below market levels in the global pharmaceuticals industry and did not accurately reflect AstraZeneca’s improved position in the European market,” it said.
Soriot has been in charge of AstraZeneca since 2012, and resisted a takeover attempt by rival Pfizer
in 2014. He received a total pay package worth £15.4 million last year.